Information Technology for Management

29 Jun


Kotak Securities, a regional stock brokerage firm, hired a Chief Information Officer (CIO), a senior manager who is responsible for all technology in the firm. The brokerage firm uses a technology heavily as it is typical in the industry. Kotak Securities has a number of systems to process stock trades and support its brokers. It also subscribes to a broker workstation system provided by a market data vendor. Each broker has a personal computer that provides a great deal of data and analytic capabilities in different windows on the screen.

The new CIO surveyed users and potential users at Kotak Securities Ltd. He concluded that in the past, users had very negative attitudes towards system. However, the interviews he conducted convinced him that users’ attitudes were now different. The users described problems but also mentioned that they were very optimistic about the potential of technology and wished they could implement the technology faster. The new CIO was surprised by the creative suggestions that come from users during the interviews.

Q1)  What events do you think are responsible for the new attitudes on the part of users?

Q2)  Suggest creative ideas to the CIO?

Q3)  How can the CIO take advantage of them?

Q4) Explain the types of system?



Boats-R-Us operates a group of 50 discount marine supply houses throughout the U.S. Primarily on the east and west coasts and around the Great lakes. The company has both walk-in and mail order business. It has been organized traditionally as a retail store and several warehouses. A central order processing site accepts orders over 800 numbers by mail and fax, this site distributes the order to the warehouse that is closest to the customer and that has the products requested in stock. A large number of purchasing agents is involved in determining what to stock and in negotiating purchases.

The CEO of the company has read about new organizational forms enabled by information technology. The only technology in place now is the order entry and warehouse inventory system. The CEO would like to make Boats-R-Us both more efficient and more responsive to its customers?

Q1) Explain the definitions of organization?

Q2) Explain the factors that influence the structure and design of modern organizations?

Q3) What new kinds of organization forms for Boats-R-Us might be enabled by information technology?

Q4) Give suggestions to CEO to make Boats-R-Us more efficient and more responsive to its customers?



The governor of a state is confronted with a series of conflicting recommendations from his staff. Recently welfare costs have been dropping, and he is concerned that they will start to rise again.

The director of the State Welfare department suggested in her report that the new reduced payments schedule passed by the legislature has reduced overall expenditures and so the downward trend will continue. The governor’s advisor for economic affairs indicated that the recent improvement in the State’s economy had resulted in large increases in employment. These new jobs are attracting people and taking them off the welfare roles. A state senate leader, however felt that most of the change resulted from enforcing requirements for welfare, limits on how long one can collect payments and requirements to work.

Q1) Who is right? Explain in brief.

Q2) Why? Explain in brief.

Q3) What is responsible for so many different positions?

Q4) How can the governor reconcile these conflicting view points and arrive at the true cause of the problem?



Standard International (SI) is the subsidiary of a large manufacturing firm. It is responsible for marketing, sales and distribution outside the US. SI does not develop products. The parent firm creates all products it sells. SI has operations in 30 countries. In virtually all these countries the local SI operation is treated legally as a subsidiary of Standard International.

Recently a new president took control of SI. Historically the firm’s systems were oriented to finance and accounting because the technology group reports to the vice president of finance. Accounting applications are important because so many different currencies are involved. The new president, however is impatient and feels that technology should be able to do something for marketing and sales.

She asked you to consult with SI in a hope of finding strategic application for information and technology. “I want something that will give us a competitive edge”, she said.

Q1) What kind of process would you follow to try to identify a strategic application?

Q2) What applications areas look promising?

Q3) How does a firm like SI develop a strategic system?

Q4) How does it establish and maintain a competitive advantage?

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